Responding to Problems

Julia Wise, April 2018

Note from Julia: I’m 80% sure this is the right approach, based on the last 2.5 years as the community person at CEA and my previous experience in social work. Some parts of it may work differently in other cultures, so I’d be interested to hear about any areas of this that seem unrealistic or not quite right.

Much of this feels obvious when written down, but I’ve found that people consistently underestimate how tricky the constraints of confidentiality are.

Quick guide to parts of a conversation:

Problems that have come up

I think EA groups are generally pretty friendly, but there are occasional glaring exceptions. Some real examples:

Order of responsibilities

As an organizer, you have several priorities when you learn about a problem:

More details

If you hear someone has experienced a problem in the group:

If you witness the problem:

If someone brings you a concern and you are not sure how accurate it is:

When you realize a problem has been going on for a long time:


Think through what steps you would take in these situations.